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DISTANCE FROM URBAN AGGLOMERATION ECONOMIES AND RURAL POVERTY*

Authors


  • This paper was submitted to the journal before Mark Partridge joined the Journal of Regional Science as a co-editor. All aspects of the review process were handled by other co-editors, without consultation with Partridge. It is the JRS policy that co-editors do not submit papers to the journal.

  • *

    We thank Kamar Ali for his help in providing the distance measures used in this study.

Abstract

ABSTRACT Despite strong national economic growth and significant poverty reduction during the late 1990s, high poverty persisted in remote rural areas. This study uses a geographical information system county database to examine the nexus between rural U.S. poverty and remoteness. We find that poverty rates increase with greater rural distances from successively larger metropolitan areas (MAs). We explain this outcome as arising from the attenuation of urban agglomeration effects at greater distances and incomplete commuting and migration responses to lower labor demand in rural areas. One implication is that remote areas may particularly experience greater reductions in poverty from place-based economic development policies.

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